King County Public Health closes Alki’s Saigon Boat Café

Thanks to those who forwarded this to us (we’re on the list too but just got the note) – From King County Public Health:

The *Saigon Boat Café* located at 2632 Alki Ave SW, Seattle was closed by a Public Health food inspector on February 18, 2010, 11:30 AM for operating without valid food business permit and approved plans. The restaurant will be reopened once the inspector confirms that the person in charge of the establishment satisfies all requirements to get a valid permit per the instructions online at

The restaurant opened less than a month ago. (You can track all current Public Health-ordered closures, and their status, here.)

25 Replies to "King County Public Health closes Alki's Saigon Boat Café"

  • I. Ponder February 18, 2010 (7:35 pm)

    I was going to have dinner there tonight. Can’t wait for them to re-open. I ate there last week with my family. The food and service was excellent and the restaurant was very clean. I wonder how long it will take for them to get their permits in order.

  • star55 February 18, 2010 (7:36 pm)

    We had lunch there on Wednesday and thought it was great, hope they open soon.

  • J & J February 18, 2010 (9:33 pm)

    Oh no! Pesky paperwork… We ate there once last week and LOVED it! Great service, ambience, & food at unbeatable prices!

  • Danielle February 18, 2010 (9:39 pm)

    Lame!! We were on our way there today and got side-tracked by spuds. Had lunch there yesterday though. I REEAAALLLY hope this place re-opens. There is no better Pho in West Seattle.

  • alkikmac February 19, 2010 (11:05 am)

    Lame?!?! Oh please. Both businesses these ladies opened are closed. Red Nails is closed because their only employee quit due to not getting paid. Now their restaurant is closed because they didn’t follow the law. Why would you want to give people like that your hard earned dollars?

  • pholover February 19, 2010 (12:33 pm)

    Maybe the best in WS proper… much better than Than! Great sandwiches great price for the beach… Having said this White Center Pho stands way above them all if you like PHO you must try!!! my fav shrimp and pork with the egg noodles, transcendent broth!

  • Oliver February 19, 2010 (12:37 pm)

    The side bar for big news shocked me because it says “Alki cafe” which is the actual name of a different restaraunt. I hope people don’t get the wrong impression because Alki Cafe is wonderful.

  • Eraserhead February 19, 2010 (2:26 pm)

    May I make some suggestions for them through here?
    1. Menu should include the Vietnamese. I don’t order beef soup, I order Pho Tai Nam. Can’t learn it unless ya see it.
    2. Chopsticks and spoons should not be left out for every H1N1 sneezer to handle before I sit down. I know SOME other places do it like this but, yuch…

  • Brian February 19, 2010 (9:39 pm)

    Interesting. I stopped by to have a sandwich today. The door said something about a vacation to Vietnam. Hmmmm….

    • WSB February 19, 2010 (10:38 pm)

      Brian, we JUST went by and got out to look at the note on the door – that’s exactly what it said, gone to Vietnam for 2 weeks for New Year’s. Interesting.

  • alkigirl February 20, 2010 (10:31 am)

    Well, you don’t really think they’d leave a note on the door saying they were closed because they didn’t follow the law do you? Not trying to be a smart a**….just truthful. I’m really tired of people coming to this country and getting a free ride, and not having to follow the law! Free housing, free medical, free food stamps, money to start up a business….free everything, while we who have deep roots (4th generation Alki) can’t find work, after being laid off after 37 years! It’s total b.s.! Shut ’em ALL down if they are breaking the law!

    • WSB February 20, 2010 (10:38 am)

      In many cases involving “official” shutdowns, a notice is required to be posted explaining what happened. For example, if the Liquor Control Board closes you down for repeat violations – or if DPD closes a job site. I’ll be asking Public Health on Monday if that sort of note is supposed to be posted in these circumstances – TR

  • I. Ponder February 20, 2010 (2:33 pm)

    You should be ashamed of yourself. Fourth generation Alki? So, you have 3 generations of family who helped you get established and you still can’t make a go of it? Times are tough and immigrants are willing to work hard to make a go of it. Often 3 generations living in the same house. Unlike you, they don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves.

  • Living in West Seattle Since 1985 February 20, 2010 (6:37 pm)

    on the blog when you first log on, the side line said “County closes Alki cafe.” I was worried it was THE ALKI CAFE for a min!!! Calling it by its full name in the headline title would be really helpful!

  • alki_2008 February 20, 2010 (10:19 pm)

    @alkigirl – Are you insinuating that the owners of the Pho restaurant got “free housing, free medical, free food stamps, money to start up a business….free everything”. Are you kidding me?????
    How dare you make such comments…which just show your ignorance and prejudice. You have no friggin’ clue about these people’s lives, or the lives of other immigrants.
    And unless you’re Native American, then you are just as much an immigrant as anyone else. Just because you’ve been here longer, doesn’t mean you’re any more deserving.
    Do you think immigrants are the only ones getting a “free ride”? Do you have any clue what goes on in the world?!
    Your comments make me ashamed of my fellow Alki neighbors. :(

  • Jo February 21, 2010 (12:38 pm)

    Hey, alki_2008 –
    “Your comments make me ashamed of my fellow Alki neighbors.”
    Talk about generalizing!
    I’m an Alki neighbor and that’s sure as h*** not the way I think.
    Maybe talk the ‘s’ off of neighbor(s) to direct your comment to where it belongs – to @alkigirl.

  • Jo February 21, 2010 (12:40 pm)

    I meant ‘take’ the ‘s’ off of neighbors…not ‘talk’

  • alki_2008 February 22, 2010 (12:10 am)

    @Jo, sorry for the typo. However, it does kinda bother me that you’d be irate enough to comment at my generalization, but didn’t have anything to say about alkigirl’s comments. If I hadn’t added my comment, then would you have posted any comments at all in this article?
    Hope you enjoyed the neighborhood this weekend. :)

  • pholover February 22, 2010 (2:18 am)

    I said plenty of bad things about alki girl and her racist comments but the WSB decided to take them off because they may agree?

  • lina February 22, 2010 (7:55 am)

    I did not want to post this a few weeks ago after my visit to this restaurant, hoping it was just a mistake and random occurrence but both my friend and I had a severe allergic reaction to identical bowls of veggie pho after our first (and last) visit there. I asked them halfway through our meal (after we both started feeling very weird) if they used MSG in their broth and sure enough, the chicken (and we had ordered veggie pho… but maybe that is another issue) broth had MSG. I let them know that I was having a reaction to it and they apologized and we left without being able to finish our soup. Got home and looked up the symptoms to MSG poisoning and both of us had textbook reactions and felt sick for another day or two. Since I had not heard of any body else having a reaction and they were new and I let them know, I did not want to scare other folks away hoping my friend and I just got a bad batch or they put too much seasoning in. Maybe I should have shared this info sooner…
    so while I am sad that a small restaurant is having trouble, I am not sad to see this one be penalized

  • alki_2008 February 22, 2010 (1:08 pm)

    @lina – I don’t think that your allergic reaction, or the restaurant’s use of MSG has anything to do with them being closed. The article clearly states that the restaurant was closed due to permit issues…no health code violations were noted.
    Also, I’m a bit unclear. Are you saying that the restaurant used too much MSG…or just that they used MSG at all? I’m sensitive to MSG myself, and realized after having a bowl that I wouldn’t be able to have pho there again…unless they stopped using MSG. However, for those that don’t mind MSG, then the pho was pretty darn good. I’ll still buy sandwiches from them when they open up again though.

  • Able Mable February 23, 2010 (10:44 am)

    I could go for one of those sandwiches right about now!

  • lina February 23, 2010 (11:44 am)

    @alki_2008, yes, I realize that there were no violations and that using MSG does not mean that they should not operate, many restaurants use MSG. I also can usually have a little MSG and be okay with it. Like many canned soups or ramen have MSG and I can usually handle it without a full blown reaction. In order to give me the major reaction I had, there must have been a TON of MSG in the broth. I was also with a friend who had never had a reaction to MSG who suffered the same symptoms as I did halfway through the meal. Almost immediately we both started feeling the exact same classic symptoms of numbness/tingling in extremities, a pulsing in my face/sinus cavity, headache etc. After feeling really weird for a few minutes, I asked her how she was feeling and we both described the same sensations.

    So, it is not that they use MSG that concerned me, it is that this particular meal or batch seemed to contain way more that should be used (even for someone like my friend who has never had a reaction). And, yes, the soup tasted great- I am a salt fiend. Luckily, we have amply restaurants that taste great and don’t make me sick afterwards!

  • 55thAlki March 13, 2010 (3:18 pm)

    Any word on when they may reopen? It’s March 13. Their Bahn Mi are great.

    I also found the racist comments and other generalizations and assumptions offensive and ignorant.

  • KB March 15, 2010 (6:00 pm)

    I spoke with one of the sisters a couple of days ago and she said they were opening in a couple of weeks, so the end of the month?

Sorry, comment time is over.